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I Am Enough | Self Love in Intimate Relationships.

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I have said several times before that self love is a journey and our Body Relationship is something that we must be committed to in order for it to flourish.  For me one part of my life that tests my self love the most is intimate relationships.  Ahhhhh yes. I learn most about the true health of my self love, self worth, and self esteem when I am sharing myself with another in an intimate relationship. Because nothing tests your courage more than being challenged by vulnerability.

For a great deal of my adult life, in my late twenties and early thirties I chose to be extremely guarded when it came to intimate relationships.  In my past I have had some very tumultuous, toxic and self destructive experiences with what I thought were intimate love relationships.  I experienced mental, verbal, physical, and emotional abuse.  I experienced infidelity and dishonesty.  I absolutely experienced anguish, disappointment, and extreme heartbreak.  So, being the resilient soul that I am, as a means of survival at that time, I went into self preservation mode.  Something inside me KNEW that if I opened up that tender heart of mine and allowed it to be misused, abused, and violated just ONE more time…I would die.  So, even in a unhealthy stage of life around the age of 21, I had the courage to choose myself. The choice I made was to put up a sign on my heart, soul, and emotions: “Under construction. Closed indefinitely for repair”

One thing I know is that when we set intentions about our lives, we do attract what we need into our lives to manifest those intentions.  I knew I was in need of repair and The Creator provided me with the Divine Connections that I needed to receive my healing.  Over the next decade I connected with beautiful souls who nurtured me, embraced me, and taught me about what intimate relationships should be.  I received knowledge and wisdom from these people, that assisted me with evolving exponentially in an area where I had such a great deficit of information.  I became empowered with the understanding of how to prioritize self love and life purpose.  The more I became empowered to say “yes” to the things I wanted and deserved in life, the more I also became empowered to say “no” to toxic people and situations in my life as well.

After a great deal of time being closed off to the idea of intimate relationships and vulnerability during my healing phase.  I began to slowly open to the possibility of romantic love again.  It was a new day, and I was stronger, wiser, and better equipped.  I had more clarity of what I wanted and needed out of intimacy.  I was connected to the guidance of The Creator, and learning to follow my intuition.  Of course there were situations of trial and error.  There were a few times I stepped out to get to know someone, and it didn’t turn out to be what I needed.  However, I am so thankful to say that after my time of healing and empowerment, I no longer attracted the abuse and anguish I experienced in my past.  The Law of Attraction is real: as a healed woman embracing love and positive energy in my life I began to attract the same type of people to me.  The more I learned, embraced, and pursued holistic health and wellness in my life, the more I began to connect with people who were on the same path.  While in this stage of beautiful evolution, I have connected with a beautiful soul and what began as an awesome friendship has grown into an intimate connection and it  has been flourishing.

As I connect intimately with this beautiful soul that has entered my life, through Divine Connections from The Creator, I have learned so much about myself.  I have been learning how to connect intimately in a non-toxic way and that is such a growth experience.  Learning to trust The Creator, trust myself and trust the gift of love that has come into my life is such a new experience.  This is where the self love, self esteem, and security in self is challenged.  After going through the experiences in my past, being in this blessed and beautiful stage of life can sometimes cause feelings of anxiety and fear.  I must be honest and naked with you and say that my most common challenge is remembering that I am “ENOUGH”.  Being in an intimate relationship where love is flourishing and joy is present, I can sometimes find myself trying to be “perfect” to make sure that I don’t f&%$k it up. It creeps up on me, I don’t always see it coming but before you know it I am placating, and pacifying and attempting perfection.  It shows up in the form of primping in the mirror more, being anxious about what to wear or even how to be more desirable.  When I notice these moments I have to stop and ask myself the hard questions. “What is this all about Ivy?” “What are the emotions driving this?” “Is this really about him or more about you and how you feel about yourself?” I will tell you, the answers can be haaaaard! I am blessed to be intimately connected to someone who embraces me for who I am.  I hear it in his words, but most importantly, I see it in his actions.  So, the feelings of fear and anxiety that sometimes drive the behaviors of insecurity are not coming from without, they come from WITHIN.

Yes, I have committed to a healthy and loving relationship with my body and myself, but just like any other relationship every day is a new discovery.  Every time I experience anxious, fearful, or insecure moments in the face of vulnerability I am presented with the opportunity to affirm myself or deny myself.  Choosing to pretend, placate, pacify, protect, and attempt perfection are denying myself the beauty of love.  It is denying myself the opportunity to “Love and be loved exactly as you are”.  It causes unhealthy behaviors towards myself and my love partner.  It causes boundaries between us.  However, most dangerously, it blocks my own self love evolution.  So therefore I must choose love over fear.  Every time I choose to love myself, flaws and all, I strengthen two relationships: my Body Relationship and my intimate Love relationship.  This morning I embraced the freedom the mantra “I am enough.”  I  release anything that does not flow in agreement with that.  Because I am enough, I am deserved of Love.  Because I am deserved of Love I will bask in the beauty of it….one moment at a time!  I remind myself that I come from Love, I was created by Love, and I am Love.  Nothing in the Universe will ever cause me to be in a state of being unloved.  I am never separated from Love.  I did not earn Love, therefore NOTHING I do can cause me to lose Love.  Love is infinitely and abundantly provided to me…in every moment of my life.  So even in those moments where I am doubting Love, I am STILL loved.  Yeeees! Just breathe that one in for a moment…..

Now tell me, what are your challenges or victories with practicing self love in your intimate relationships?  Can you connect with any of the pain points that I shared? Have you been challenged by vulnerability?  I’d love to hear your experiences. Please share!



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Ivy Cooper, The Body Relationship Coach™ is a professional health coach and body image expert. She offers education, empowerment, and encouragement to help people build health, loving relationships with their body and self.
  • #MadeToLove

    I’ve had to think about being enough more and more over the past 4-5 days. Yesterday, I was prepared to give up and to give in to being alone because I was fearful that I was being rejected…again. Today, however, I’ve come across the message “I am enough” twice. That’s the message I need to keep at the core of my heart and existence.

    Today begins a 40-Day Gratitude Trek, where I have committed to walking for at least half an hour every day between now and Thanks-Giving. The mantra with which I will begin every trek, and that I will use to meditate upon throughout this period is “I am enough.” I don’t have to struggle with whether or not I am accepted by others, because their acceptance or rejection does not make or break me. I. AM. ENOUGH.

    Thank you, Ivy!!

    • / Ivy LaArtista

      I am so glad that this spoke to you and resonates with your current Season of life. Yes! You. Are. Enough. Enjoy celebrating the beauty of that in each of these 40 days of gratitude! Please keep me updated on how it’s going. I’d love to hear about it.

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